We have a sad update for you today. Back in January, we brought you an entire show, episode 483, on a topic I admittedly knew next to nothing about – the use of psychedelic drugs and psilocybin research to help treat depression, addiction, and other medical conditions.
Our guest for the full show was Roland Griffiths, PhD, who was the expert on the topic as the director of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We talked about the history of his research, the various uses, and even how cancer patients had used psychedelics as therapeutics – research he pioneered.
At the end of the interview, we got to the sad reveal of Dr. Griffiths very personal connection to this topic. He told us that he himself had terminal colon cancer. Here’s a bit of our conversation on appreciating life and practicing gratitude:
Dr. Griffiths: I went in for a routine colonoscopy screening believing myself to be completely healthy – I take care of myself; I watch my diet; I exercise – and came out with, in short order, a stage four cancer diagnosis that’s been resistant to treatment… But Megyn, the astonishing thing about this is that rather than being depressed and anxious, for me, I consider the whole thing to be a blessing and it’s been this just remarkable experience of joy and gratitude. I thought I was pretty awake to the joy and miracle of life before this, but it’s more so now. So, I’m moved to talk about it just because I think, in principle, we can all wake up much more than we are and I want to encourage people to do that absent a terminal diagnosis.
Megyn: Roland, thank you for sharing that. My God. I feel more emotional about it than you do.January 31, 2023
We knew Roland did not have long when we brought you his story back in January. On October 16, he passed away at his home in Baltimore at the age of 77. I find myself getting emotional again all these months later because there was something about this man that was so touching. He devoted himself to this line of research – which was always considered controversial and almost taboo until his work – and created a place for this research that has now helped so many.
According to The New York Times, Roland was working on a paper about a study he conducted in which clergy of various faiths took psilocybin to see how it would affect their life and work. Roland took psychedelics himself shortly after his diagnosis to investigate his own condition. What did he learn? “You will die, but everything is absolutely perfect,” he once told the Times. “There’s meaning and purpose to this that goes beyond your understanding, but how you’re managing that is exactly how you should manage it.”
Roland is now gone from this physical world, but his work and legacy live on. You can find more information and donate, if you’d like to, at GriffithsFund.org.
You can revisit Megyn’s full interview with Dr. Griffiths by tuning in to episode 483 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.